Part of a speech by Malcolm X on February 14, 1965. The players have changed but the game is still the same — outsiders in cahoots with corporate media outlets that function as enablers continue to exploit Congo’s resources and cause untold deaths. Today, Rwanda, Uganda and M23 play the roles of Moise Tshombe and South African mercenaries. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Note how Malcolm talks of corporate media ignoring atrocities against Congolese just like today’s crimes by Rwanda and Uganda had been ignored for a long time. Malcolm X cared deeply about Africa.
When you begin to start thinking for yourself, you frighten them, and they try and block your getting to the public, for fear that if the public listens to you, then the public won’t listen to them anymore.
And they’ve got certain Negroes whom they have to keep blowing up in the papers to make them look like leaders. So that the people will keep on following them, no matter how many knocks they get on their heads following him. This is how the man does it, and if you don’t wake up and find out how he does it, I tell you, they’ll be building gas chambers and gas ovens pretty soon — I don’t mean those kind you’ve got at home in your kitchen.
Another example at the international level of how skillfully they use this trickery was in the Congo. In the Congo, airplanes were dropping bombs on African villages. African villages don’t have a defense against bombs. And the pilot can’t tell who the bomb is being dropped upon.
When a bomb hits a village, everything goes. And these pilots, flying planes filled with bombs, dropping these bombs on African villages, were destroying women, were destroying children, were destroying babies. You never heard any outcry over here about that.
And it had started way back in June. They would drop bombs on African villages that would blow that village apart and everything in it — man, woman, child, and baby. No outcry, no sympathy, no support, no concern, because the press didn’t project it in such a way that it would be designed to get your sympathy.
They know how to put something so that you’ll sympathize with it, and they know how to put it so you’ll be against it. I’m telling you, they are masters at it. And if you don’t develop the analytical ability to read between the lines in what they’re saying, I’m telling you again — they’ll be building gas ovens, and before you wake up you’ll be in one of them, just like the Jews ended up in gas ovens over there in Germany. You’re in a society that’s just as capable of building gas ovens for Black people as Hitler’s society was.
This was mass murder in the Congo, of women and children and babies. But there was no outcry even from the white liberals, even from your “friends.” Why? Because they made it appear that it was a humanitarian project. They said that the planes were being flown by “American-trained anti-Castro Cuban pilots.”
This is propaganda, too. Soon as you hear that it’s American-trained, you say, “Oh that’s all right, that’s us.” And the anti-Castro Cubans, “Oh that’s all right too, ’cause if they’re against Castro, whoever else they’re against that’s good, ’cause Castro is a monster.” But you see how step-by-step they grab your mind?
And these pilots are hired, their salaries are paid by the United States government. They’re called mercenaries, these pilots are. And a mercenary is not someone who kills you because he’s patriotic. He kills you for blood money, he’s a hired killer. This is what a mercenary means.
And they’re able to take these hired killers, put them in American planes, with American bombs, and drop them on African villages, blowing to bits Black men, Black women, Black children, Black babies, and you Black people sitting over here cool like it doesn’t even involve you. You’re a fool. They’ll do it to them today, and do it to you tomorrow. Because you and I and they are all the same.
They call it a humanitarian project and that they’re doing it in the name of freedom. And all of this, these glorious terms, are used to pave the way in your mind for what they’re going to do.
Then they take Tshombe. You’ve heard of Tshombe. He’s the worst African that was ever born. The lowest type that was ever born. He’s a murderer himself. He’s the murderer of Lumumba, the former prime minister of — the first and only rightful prime minister of the Congo. He’s an international — he’s a murderer with an international stature as a murderer. Yet the United States government went and got Tshombe in Spain, and put him as the head of the Congolese government.
This is criminal! Here’s a man who’s a murderer, so the United States takes him, puts him over the Congo, and supports his government with your tax dollars. Now — they hired him to occupy the position as head of state over the Congo — a killer! He is a hired killer himself! His salary’s paid by the United States government. And he turns — his first move is to bring in South Africans, who hate everything in sight. He hires those South Africans to come and kill his own Congolese people. And the United States, again, pays their salary.
You know, it’s something to think about. How do you think you would feel right now if some Congolese brothers walked up to you — and they look just like you, don’t think you don’t look Congolese. You look as much Congolese as a Congolese does. They got all kinds of Congolese over there. How would you feel if one of them walked up to you and asked you about what your government is doing in the Congo. I was asked that when I was over there.
But they don’t have to come to me like that, ’cause they know where I stand automatically. And for one time I’m thankful to the press, for letting everybody know where I stand. They — but you have no explanation. Your tongue stays in your mouth. And then you have to become — you have to go to the extreme to convince them that you don’t go along with what the United States government is doing in the Congo.
And they justify the usage of Tshombe as the present head of state by saying that he’s the only African who can unite — or bring unity to the Congo. Has he brought unity to the Congo? But, see, this is their game! And their real reason for wanting Tshombe there was so that Tshombe could invite them to come in. Now, what African head of state would have dared to invite outside powers? So they put Tshombe there, and as soon as Tshombe got there he invited them to bring paratroopers from Belgium in the United States’ transport planes to try and recapture Congo.
This is all a cold-blooded act on the part of your Western powers, namely the Western powers here in the United States — interests in the United States, in England, and France, and Belgium and so forth. They want the wealth of the Congo, plus its strategic geographic position.
The step-by-step process that was used by the press: First they fanned the flame in such a manner to create hysteria in the mind of the public. And then they shift gears and fan the flame in a manner designed to get the sympathy of the public. And once they go from hysteria to sympathy, their next step is to get the public to support them in whatever act they’re getting ready to go down with. You’re dealing with a cold calculating international machine, that’s so criminal in its objectives and motives that it has the seeds of its own destruction, right within.
They use the press to emphasize that white hostages are being held by [inaudible] — imagine that — or white priests, white missionaries, white nuns — they don’t say nuns: white nuns. You know what the paper said right here in Detroit: white missionaries, not just a missionary; a white nun — as if there’s a difference between a white nun and a black nun; or a white priest and a black priest; or if the light that’s in a white skin is more valuable than a light within a black skin. This is what they’re implying! And the press — look at the press when this thing was going on — and you will see what I’m talking about. They’re vicious in their whiteness.
But still, I wouldn’t judge them just ’cause they’re white, or they’d call me a racist. [I’m] judging by their deeds, by their conscious behavior — and you know how they’ve been consciously behaving in the Congo, and how they consciously behave in Vietnam, and how they consciously behave right now in Alabama and Mississippi. So you and I got to get conscious, and start behaving in a way that we can offset this thing before it’s too late — and this is what they don’t want to hear.
One more thing concerning Tshombe, if you notice — and I must — while we were over there on the African continent, in order to give you a better understanding of what is going on right here. The next thing that is good to know about Tshombe: no Congolese troops have ever won any victories, whatsoever, for the present Congolese government. Congolese soldiers won’t even fight unless they’re forced to.
But the fighters in the Congo, or the freedom fighters — the rebels from the Oriental, eastern province — they fought with stones, and sticks, and rocks, spears, and arrows. And the only time they had a gun was when they got some soldier who had it, and they’d kill him and take his gun. But they were winning, they took over two-thirds of the Congo. [I’m] showing you, they were fighting from their hearts.
The other people, their heart wasn’t in it. And because of the fighting spirit of these people, it will be impossible for Tshombe to remain as head of state over the Congo without additional troops — white troops — being constantly brought in from South Africa or elsewhere. But sooner or later, these troops are going to give out, and then America’s going to have to increase her troops like she did in South Vietnam. She’s not at war with Vietnam yet, she’s only there “advising.” They have 20,000 “advisors,” you know, on the front lines. But it’s not a war. Just — they’re in “advisory capacity.” Why, they insult the intelligence of their own public!
And they’re going to have to end up doing the same thing in the Congo, they’ll be trapped. They’ll have to eventually send American troops to occupy the Congo. ‘Cause the African freedom fighters are going to fight — they’re not going to give up one inch without fighting back. And there’s something that you should know! That they realize now on the African continent what’s at stake, and how much — what these Western powers have in common and what they’re doing in cahoots with each other behind the closed doors.
So on the African continent they are training Africans — these soldiers — so they can invade one of these countries, and take it over, and give it [back] to the rightful people.
One of the last things I must say concerning the Congo: not only do they not intend for the Congo to fall into African hands because of its mineral wealth — and it has the greatest deposits of some of the richest elements, or minerals, of any other area on this earth. They don’t intend to give it up because of its wealth; another reason they don’t intend to give it up is if you look at the map you’ll see that it is so strategically located geographically.
Wherein, if a real genuine African government were to come in power over the Congo, then it would be possible for African troops from all countries to invade Angola — which is a Portuguese possession. And if Angola fell, and it would fall, then it would only be a matter of time before South-West Africa, Southern Rhodesia, and Butuanoland also would fall. And it would put African troops right on the border of South Africa. And that’s where they really want to get, that man down there in South Africa.
And the United States’ interests are involved in blocking this, yes! Some of these liberals who grin in your face like they’re your best friends, they have money tied up in the Congo.
Some of the most powerful political figures in this country, come up and governors over states, [have] got interests in the Congo, and got interests in South Africa, and got interests all over the African continent, and go there! And as the Africans awaken and realize, they — it makes them full of the incentive to never rest until that exploiter is driven out.